Fashion, like technology, finance, hell most professional spaces, is a white (male) dominated industry. Despite the diverse range of customers, that diversity is rarely represented in the ranks of creative directors and company owners, the people responsible for leading the artistic, and sometimes business, vision for fashion brands. Thankfully we are entering a period where, as a society, we are more focused on the importance of representation in all spaces. The following black male designers, some you may not have heard of, are helping to lead the charge in menswear, and we should definitely support them.
1. Pyer Moss – for the man that’s down to protest, in style
[Not so] arguably, one of the most interesting brands in fashion is Pyer Moss. Led by Kerby Jean-Raymond, Pyer Moss brilliantly navigates the intersection of fashion and social justice. That’s right, for all the “woke” brothers unafraid to take to the streets but still want to wear a quality piece while doing so, this brand is for you. The epitome of a modern, luxury FUBU (Jean-Raymond even featured the term in his spring ‘19 ready-to-wear collection), Pyer Moss is a label that unabashedly caters to the black customer.
2. Frere – for the man looking to channel his inner Wall Street wolf
If you haven’t noticed, Sean “Jay-Z” Carter has been making his rounds lately, often dressed in the same designer, Frere. Led by Davidson Frere, the namesake label caters to the man you might spot wearing a waistcoat to the neighborhood grocery store. The brand specializes in luxurious fabrics for its bespoke suits, brought to life with razor sharp (and I mean SHARP) tailoring. Evening wear is another speciality for Frere and is highly recommended for anyone who would rather look like a reptile (animal-patterned fabrics in bright colors) than a penguin at their next fundraising gala.
3. Public School NYC – for the man that understands the power of a crisp white tee
If you’re more likely to purchase a hoodie than a tailored jacket, look no further than Public School NYC. Although Maxwell Osborne and Dao Yi-Chow’s point of view is more “casual Friday” than brands like Frere, the label has become a major player in American menswear. Public School is just that, anti-rarified, channeling the energy of the diverse population of people who make the New York City sidewalks and subways their runway.
4. Casely-Hayford – for the man that prefers the classics, with a twist
“What’s better than one designer? Two, especially when they are the same hue as you!” Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford, the father-son duo behind their namesake brand, are making waves in men’s fashion. Casely-Hayford is for the man who wants to take a bit of a risk, without wandering too far away from the foundations of English menswear found on Saville Row. They are known for taking classics like the double-breasted suit and edging them up using innovative cuts and interesting plays on proportions.
5. Armando Cabral – for the man who travels with more shoes than underwear
Shoes, in my humble opinion, are the most important part of any outfit, so we can forget to include a great black-led shoe brand. Armanda Cabral offers footwear suitable for almost any occasion, specializing in classic versions of styles such as the derby and the loafer. Cabral sticks to a neutral color palette, making them easy to mix-and-match with a plethora of clothing combinations. And if you are a shoe hoarder who likes to stock up on your favorite pairs, prices range between $150 and $550.